Liriomyza trifolii (American serpentine leafminer) in Queensland and Western Australia

Publication Date
Fri, 30 Jul 2021, 02:11
Last Updated
July 30, 2021, 2:11 a.m.
Report Number
Pest Id
Liriomyza trifolii - (LIRITR)
Report Status
American serpentine leafminer has a wide host range including over 400 species from 28 families of both vegetable and ornamental crops. The main hosts include beans, capsicums, carrots, celery, cotton, chrysanthemums, cucumbers, garlic, gerberas, lettuce, melons, onions, peas, eggplants, and tomatoes (CABI, 2021). In Australia, L. trifolii has currently been detected on Carthamus tinctorius (safflower), Cannabis sativa (hemp), Gossypium sp. (cotton crops), Vigna unguiculata (black eyed peas) and on common weed species including Synedrella nodiflora (Cinderella weed), Tridax procumbens (coatbuttons or tridax daisy) and Physalis angulata (wild gooseberry).
Pest Status (ISPM 8 - 2021)
  • Present: not widely distributed and under official control
Geographical Distribution
Kununurra, northern Western Australia Bamaga, Far North Queensland Torres Strait, Queensland

There were two separate detections of Liriomyza trifolii (American serpentine leafminer) in Kununurra, northern WA in March 2021 and in Torres Strait (QLD) in May 2021. Following additional surveys in July 2021, a sample was collected near Bamaga in the Far Northern Biosecurity Zone 1 (FNBZ 1) in QLD.

After assessment of the pest’s biology, the geographically dispersed nature of detections, and the available tools for eradication; it is unlikely that American serpentine leafminer will be technically feasible to eradicate. However, the final consideration by Australia’s decision-making body for national exotic plant pest eradication is still pending.

Synonyms: Agromyza phaseolunata (Frost, 1943); Liriomyza alliivora (Frick, 1955); Oscinis trifolii (Burgess, 1880)

Liriomyza trifolii is a highly polyphagous pest and has a wide global distribution. Leaf damage occurs through puncture wounds from adult feeding and egg deposition, and the larvae tunnel, or mine, within the leaf tissue. The damage can reduce the photosynthetic capacity of the plants. Severe unmanaged infestations may result in premature leaf drop, poor growth, and reduced crop yields. As American serpentine leafminer it is not widely distributed within Australia, and while the final decision on an eradication response is still pending, American serpentine leafminer is currently under regional official control in Queensland and Western Australia.
Contact for info
Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601 [email protected]
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